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Remote Notarization Law: New York State

Updated: Mar 31, 2022


Please note this is Not the same law issued during the pandemic (Executive Order 202.7) whereby Governor Cuomo allowed for the temporary emergency use of electronic notarization.

“Remote Online Notarization” (RON) is a form of notarization where a notary Officiates the document remotely through audio-visual technology and other security protocols:


Key points:

AudioVisual Tech: -

You must be able to see and interact, in real-time with the signer.

Audio/Visual technology must have security protocols in place to prevent unauthorized access.

Keep an audio-visual recording of the remote notarization, and ensure that there is a back-up of the recording for ten (10) years.


Identifying Individuals: (1 of 3 Ways)

1. Notary’s personal knowledge of the signor

2. By means of communication technology that facilitates remote presentation by the signor of an official with, acceptable form of ID that went through

a. credential analysis, and identity proofing

credential analysis and identify proofing? Credential analysis validates the authenticity of the principal’s government-issued identification, and identity proofing validates the identity of the individual principal.

Commercial software is available to notaries public to perform identify proofing and credential analysis.


After hours of research, I found that the following company was the only one that allowed for an Independent Notary account, not just Enterprise Solutions that is very reasonably priced:



3. Through oath or affirmation of a credible witness who personally knows the signor, and who is either personally known to the notary or identified by the previously referenced means of communication technology.


After the remote signor has executed the document, it must be transmitted to the notary public for officiating. The notary must confirm that the document is the same as the one signed remotely in the notary public’s presence before applying the notary stamp and signature to the document. The following statement must be added to the jurat “This remote notarial act involved the use of communication technology.”


Journal

Notary public must keep a journal of all remote notarizations performed

Each journal entry must be made contemporaneously with the performance of the notarial act

Each entry must include the date and approximate time of the notarization

The name of the remote signor

The audio-visual technology used to perform the notarization

The number and type of documents officiated

Notarial services provided

The type of identification/credential presented by the remote signor

It must be kept by the notary public for as long as they remain a notary and for an additional five years thereafter.


Note: Electronic Journals are part of the aforementioned software packages, however if the Notary would prefer to keep their own private journal record they can order one here.


Fee

$5.00 for services rendered

On January 31, 2023 the rules for remote notarization will change. One significant change is that as of January 31, 2023, any notary wishing to provide remote notarization, must register the capability to perform electronic notarizations with the NYS Department of State, Division of Licensing Services, and pay the requisite fee (which is to be determined and established in regulation) to act as an electronic notary. This fee will be a onetime fee.


Additional Research Conducted and Conclusion:


Questions posed to the Department of State's Legal Department with respect to clarifications of this new Law:


Question: Will there be requirements training?

Answer: No, there will be no requirements training.


Question: The law does state the Notary must be in NY at the time of notarization, however it fails to mention if the signer must be in NY at the time of notarization as well (or a resident of NY to say the very least). If this were the case then we could essentially notarize for anyone anywhere in the continental US.

Answer: Yes, you may notarize for anyone situated within the continental United States

And; for such other see below:


(h) The notary public must be physically situated in New York State at the time of the remote notarization. The principal may be situated in New York, outside of New York but inside the United States, or outside the United States, provided:


(1) the record is to be filed with or relates to a matter before a public official or court, governmental entity, or other entity subject to the jurisdiction of the United States; or


(2) the record involves property located in the territorial jurisdiction of the United States or involves a transaction substantially connected with the United States.


Question: With respect to #2 "How a Remote Notarization is performed" Identity Proofing, Credential Analysis and Communication Technology that is secure. After conducting thorough research, I found that there are only two (2) organizations with the proper technology that meet all of the New York Sate criteria to perform these transactions as the “third party”. Most companies will only allow you to onboard as a Notary through their program and the others are more about servicing large organizations and come with a hefty fee.

That being said, will the State Department afford general notaries access to the technology that performs Credential Analysis and Identity Proofing as a sole single source Notary Public? Without that, they must rely on outsourcing this function which is extremely expensive considering the cost of what they are allowed by law to charge for these services. While I do understand that electronic notarization is not a requirement, we all know that this technological advancement will certainly become the norm; essentially, leaving general Notary Publics that make a partial living as a Signing Agent in the dust. These functions and duties will be performed by the large organization that fought to enact this new law. In effect, undoing what was such a high regarded traditional official duty that dates back to 2750 BC.

Answer: The State will not get involved with initiating any type of software development for this program nor will they make recommendations. They are not equipped for it. Therefore, you must outsource it.


Question: Lastly, in the last paragraph where it states: To be accepted, the notary would first have to certify the remotely notarized document. What constitutes certifying this record? Would simply adding the required wording to the Jurat constitute certification? “This remote notarial act involved the use of communication technology.”

Answer: No, while the former is the case when performing remote notarization the ladder refers to instances where the signor is in need of a hard copy of the electronically notarized document for filing with specific government institutions.

In that case, a hard copy of the notarized form must be printed out and the following certification form (Certificate of Authenticity) must accompany this document:

Certificate of Authenticity
.pdf
Download PDF • 275KB

Bottom Line:

A NYS Notary that wants to practice in Remote Online Notarizations must do the following:

Get a Digital Seal (this replaces the rubber stamp for remote notarizations) Adobe (free)

Get a Digital Signature Adobe (free)

Get a Digital Certificate (this authenticates the Notary to Act in their capacity and authenticates the notaries signature) Adobe handles the signature part IdenTrust handles the Digital Certificate which is encrypted and stored on their system.


Costs:


Cost: IdenTrust Digital Certificate:

1 Year $66

2 Year $119

3 Year $157

Cost of Digital Seal: Adobe (Free)

Cost for a Digital Signature: Adobe (Free)

Cost to use Software platform to perform notarization:


Software Platform:


SecuredSigning - $9.95/Month plus:

USD $1.30

Per document notarized (unlimited pages)

First 10 documents of each month free with monthly subscription fee.


USD $1.00

Per notary stamp added to each document


USD $0.15

Per person sent 2-Factor SMS Authentication

(Optional)

USD $5.00

For a 30-minute RON video session with one client

See more details below


USD $3.00

Per person for ID Verification including Facial Match and Live Image Test

Plus 15¢ for SMS verification if ID Verification begins on desktop, and moves to mobile device via SMS link, maximum of two SMS per client.


USD $1.00

Knowledge Based Authentication (KBA) Dynamic Questionnaire - per person


FREE

Notary Journal with Automated Record Entries


FREE

PKI X509 security certificates issued by Secured Signing or uploading/remote connection to your own certificate.

Some states require a Federal Bridge Certificate which is not included, see FAQ below.


FREE

Notary Community – Publish your Notary Profile to build your clientele and get orders, Join Notary Community today.


So far the cost of investment for the Remote Notary at its very minimum is $66 + $9.95/month + = $75.95.

Revenue a Notary can charge $5

Therefore you would have to perform approximately 16 remote notarizations to break even.


Conclusion:


While this is not a mandatory law please note that the revamping of this law which will fall under Executive Law 135-C of the Notary License Law, will be hammered out and available at or around February 1, 2023. It is up to the individual notary if they want to practice as an RON Notary considering the investment. Traditional, “In Person” paper and pen notarization will still be a pliable means of performing notarizations.


If you decide to become a Remote Online Notary rest assured we have a platform ready for you.


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